Another great effort from the San Jose Sharks to try and comeback to win a game they had no business being in sees them take a point from Las Vegas as they fall 5-4 in the shootout to the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Vegas Golden Knights. It's the final game of their six game road trip in which the Sharks went 3-2-1 with multiple points won due to comebacks and no-quit efforts from this roster.
Twenty-nine seconds into the game, the Sharks would seize the lead. Mikael Granlund would get the puck and protect it while going around the net. He gets it back to the blueline, and a pass between the defensemen allows Mario Ferraro to pick a corner and score early. This didn't look like a team interested in a multigoal comeback tonight. This looked like a roster wanting to blow a team away.
It did not last forever, as five minutes into the second period, Vegas would get it back. Jonathan Marchessault walked in with Chandler Stephenson on a 2-on-1, and he just cleanly beat Kaapo Kahkonen with the shot to bring this game back to a goal each. San Jose was not playing badly, but a potentially deflating event to happen at this point could have been bad. San Jose needed to keep going and try to reap their rewards later in this one.
With five minutes left in the second, Vegas would take the lead. Alex Pietrangelo fired the puck towards Kahkonen from the blue line, and Stephenson deflected it in off his skate to make it a 2-1 lead for the Golden Knights. San Jose would need another comeback if they were going to take two points from this game tonight. It had not been a bad period for the Sharks, but Vegas was leading because good teams do that.
Vegas made it a two goal lead early in the third. Jack Eichel found Brayden McNabb walking in from the blueline. When you leave someone with that much talent with that much time, you are asking for problems. He goes bar down on Kahkonen, and the Sharks now needed to overcome a two-goal deficit. Seeing what they had done in previous games, there was certainly optimism that this Sharks club would not lose faith or give up.
Mike Hoffman would take a stretch pass from Mikael Granlund and manage to play some pinball out in front. He thew it out in front and Korczak knocks it in past his own netminder, giving the Sharks a powerplay goal and a path back into this game. Now, they needed to find another one. With momentum and some luck, they may be able to get another multigoal come-from-behind win. But it would require one heck of a performance in the final 15 minutes of the game.
Marchessault would extend the lead for Vegas once again. Stephenson found a beautiful pass across the crease, and Marchessault gets the luckiest bounce of the night as he smacks it off his stick, then up off his body to float in past Kahkonen. As the Sharks continued to try and fight their way back into this game, the wheels were spinning and the team in teal just couldn't get any closer.
Calen Addison would grab his first with the Sharks with less than four minutes to go in the game. San Jose got a four-on-three going toward the Knights' goal. The puck gets back to the trailer in Addison, and he nets his first goal of the season as two of the defensemen on the team landed on the scoresheet with goals. Now, the task was just to get the next one.
So, Mike Hoffman step forth. A beautiful tick-tack-toe play sees the Sharks go around the horn from the circle, down to Tomas Hertl at the base line, and he finds Hoffman between the circles. Hoffman nets his second of the game, and the Sharks have fought back from a multi-goal deficit to tie the game up late. This is not the same review as the last two games. It's becoming a habit.
In the shootout Jack Eichel would be the first to score after misses in both parts of round one. Granlund couldn't answer Eichel in round two. Marchessault then scored the winner in the shootout and the Sharks fall to 3-2-1 on this vaunted road trip, but now they get to return to the sanctity of the SAP Center.